For those of you wondering why movies are making you feel empty when you leave the theater, or give you such an obsessive appetite for movies that you want to better understand them, Screenwriting 101 by FILM CRIT HULK is waiting to be discovered and be cherished by those that are inclined. Badass Digest Publishing released this informative and entertaining ebook as their first title and the material is so riveting that I hope it gets printed on paper to put on my shelf. For those unfamiliar with the origins of FILM CRIT HULK, it all began in a chaotic lab experiment involving gamma radiation, the ghost of Pauline Kael and telepods. An enthusiastic introduction by filmmaker Edgar Wright explain’s HULK’s gargantuan love for movies and gives his endorsement of two HULK hands up. When diving into the ALL CAPS version that I recommend for the full FILM CRIT HULK experience, it’s immediately made clear in the preface that HULK wants to expose the fraud of screenwriting books that will guide you down the wrong path and convince you that the ability to sell, pop and pitch doesn’t lead to lasting success in the entertainment business. Essentially Screenwriting 101 examines in seven parts, the philosophical approach that’s recommended to approach storytelling. Anyone interested in pursuing storytelling or writing related to film will find many valuable nuggets of truth in the pages ahead.

hulk 2

In part one, HULK discusses the history and importance of narrative and becoming more strongly aware of what you already know. The next part goes over training your brain to recognize the inspiration around you. There’s an insightful argument about viewing film that tries to say something as an obstacle for some people and points about how meaning can happen accidentally. There’s an amusing example at Brett Ratner’s expense and a turn into misconception about quirky indie comedies. Many films and television series are dissected throughout the book to illustrate valid points and add clarity.

The third part is where thing start getting broken down in great length and it’s actually beneficial for the analytical process to be resourceful in such rich detail. It’s divided into six sections that walk through the research process the economical advantage that quality scripts used to be the standard for. HULK provides a link to an article his friend Drew McWeeny wrote about the age of fan fiction that’s a great counterpart to the importance of original storytelling.

The Hulk with a Kitten

Part four explains how to take a conceptual approach and defends all of James Cameron’s movies on the level of being entirely functional in their narrative. The law of cause and effect is also discussed along with the necessity of empathy to expose kindergarten-level truths. The analogy behind “kill the kitten” is priceless and really lets you reflect on what an expansive crash course you’re embarking on. HULK’s favorite topic, Indiana Jones, is discussed on numerous occassions, most memorabaly explaining the difference between empathy and likeability. There’s a sample of Devin Faraci’s review of Steven Spielberg’s War Horse that explains the problem it has with obvious audience manipulation that purely solidifies the fundation of backing the horse that HULK wants us to bid on.

A very worthy mention is the section titled “Mystery vs. Urgency,” which examines later character reveals and compares the last two Mission Impossible films and will either offend or solidify your own opinions on the matter.

When we reach part five, things really heat up as HULK dives into summer tent-pole movies that need script editing and the debunking of the “3 Act Structure Myth”. Positive examples are brought up of Spike Lee’s Malcom X and less flattering examples of the Green Lantern debacle. There’s even solid points made in the relevance of the Shakespearean soliloqy at the climax of No Country For Old Men. We then dive even deeper through the territory of misunderstanding Joseph Campbell’s The Hero With A Thousand Faces before tackiling Vladimir, The Snowflake Method and Deus Ex Machina.

Part six goes over priority in grammar and sentence structure while embracing constructive criticism against the faults in your work. The final revelation resides in part seven, but I’ll not reveal it here for I do not wish to rob you of the enjoyment, or lack there of, in the discovery.


FILM CRIT HULK’s atomic passion for cinema is genuinely infectious and whether you agree with his opinions or not, there is no denying that he has a voice that dares to be reckoned with. There is literature related to film that is treasured and valuable to my heart such as Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Sidney Lumet’s Making Movies, Roger Ebert’s Book Of Film: From Tolstoy To Tarantino and Pauline Kael’s I Lost It At The Movies. FILM CRIT HULK’s Screenwriting 101 has earned it’s self a place at that table and I highly recommend you do yourself a favor to not let this great piece of work slip from your collection.

The Author

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan

Sean McClannahan is a freelance film journalist and is the founder of Movie Time And Beyond. His passion for movies and pop culture knows no limits.

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